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Plus500, a UK-based online forex group, reported on Monday it posted a record-high quarterly revenue of $85.2 million in the first quarter of 2016. The figure represents a growth of 26% from the previous three months and 4% higher than a year earlier.
Plus500 also reported a record number of 67,821 in consolidated active customer accounts in January-March, although posting an insignificant increase from 67,667 for the same period a year earlier. Compared to the previous three months, however, there was a 38% growth in active accounts.
The brokerage said it faces a continued market share growth in its leading markets, without further elaborating.
“We are very pleased with our first quarter performance which is significantly ahead of the last quarter of 2015, and compares favorably against a very strong first quarter last year. We continue to benefit from volatile market conditions which are stimulating new customer additions and trading activity,“ Plus500 joint CEO Asaf Elimelech said.
The brokerage group expects to post a higher earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in 2016, compared to 2015. Its performance so far confirms this expectation.
Moreover, the number of new clients the group attracted jumped 85% from the previous quarter to 28,792 in the period under review, while the user acquisition cost averaged $1,316, or 17% lower over the quarter. On an annual basis, however, new clients went down 12% and average acquisition cost grew by 47%. The reason for this is that in the first three months of 2015, the broker attracted a significant number of new customers due to the exceptional movement of the Swiss franc (CHF) after it was unpegged from the Euro (EUR) in January last year.
Highlights of Plus500’s group metrics for the first three months of the year follow:
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*ARPU=Average revenue per user
**AUAC=Average user acquisition cost
On back of the positive past financial performance, Plus500 intends to distribute 100% of the net profit, or $96.6 million, in dividends for 2015, compared to $92 million for the previous year. The amount will be paid out on 11 May 2016.
The company’s shares, which trade on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) have been steadily growing in price in the past months. They were traded for GBP 615.50 as at 31 March, 2016, posting a significant price increase compared to GBP 417.50 at 31 December, 2015. Currently, they company’s shares are priced even higher, with a market capitalization of GBP 733.7 million. Here is a chart with Plus500’s share price movement in the past six months:
UK-based Plus500 offers trading in forex, options, contracts for difference (CFDs), commodities, indices, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in more than 50 countries.. It operates its own online trading platform for CFDs available in over 31 languages on desktop and mobile operating systems. It is licensed by three regulators – the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).